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Burn! aka Queimada [DVD] [1969]

Marlon Brando , Sal Marquez , Gillo Pontecorvo    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Marlon Brando, Sal Marquez, Renato Salvatori
  • Directors: Gillo Pontecorvo
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Cornerstone Media
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Sep 2004
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002PC33K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,656 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Sir William Walker (Marlon Brando) is a 19th century English mercenary and agent provocateur sent to a Caribbean island run by the Portuguese, and manages by Machiavellian manipulations to engineer a slave revolt that gives the British what they want - power and money.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riveting Tale of colonial era 5 May 2005
By Mr. Stephen Kennedy TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this movie because I am an Ennio Morricone completionist, but I was totally unprepared for what an absorbing movie it would be.
One might think from the pedigree and the cover of the DVD that it is another Spaghetti Western of sorts, but that would be a grave injustice. The producer, Alberto Grimaldi, is indeed the long time Sergio Leone collaborator, and the opening titles could be straight from one of the dollars movies, but the film is something quite different.
The tale surrounds Marlon Brando as an Englishman sent to a Portuguese colony in the Antilles - his role, to manipulate an uprising against the Portuguese, in order for the area to be opened up to British trade, for the lucrative sugar market. His relationship with the slave who becomes a rebel leader under his guidance underpins the movie, and it is a fine performance from Brando, even if the accent is somewhat effected.
The atmosphere of the colony is brilliantly portrayed, authentic through its use of non actors in key roles and in background colour. Not least, the atmosphere is conveyed by Ennio Morricones fantastic score. This is as equally idiosyncratic as his spaghetti western scores, but with a different flavour altogether, using tribal rhthyms and organ music to make unlikely bedfellows.
Be warned, the DVD itself has no extras, and is painfully washed out and flickers from time to time. The dubbing is not as bad as some spaghetti western lovers may be used to, but still comes across a bit strange at times. Although this would benefit from a restoration, this is a movie with a message and with character which belie the limitations of the print.
Buy this for an undiscovered Brando performance, and a terrific political tale, as long as you can thole the dubious quality of the DVD transfer itself.
7/10!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who Cuts the Cane. 10 Nov 2010
By Bob Salter TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
It is quite nice to review something a bit more significant, from my rather insignificant orange box. "Burn" was directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, who had already made the critically acclaimed "The Battle For Algiers", proving he was no mug in the hot seat. Pontecorvo was a director who wanted to say something in his films, and he certainly achieves that in this film. The story seems to be loosely based on the life of Toussaint Louvetre, who led the first successful slave revolt in Haiti in 1794, which is alluded to in the film. The superb book "The Black Jacobins", by respected historian CLR James, gives a very colourful and accurate history of this mans life. The book has become something of a must read in the Caribbean community. I recall the ex footballer Garth Crooks, naming it as his favourite book.

In the film, British agent Sir William Walker (Marlon Brando), is sent to the fictional island of Queimada, a Portuguese island in the Lesser Antilles. The island was initially supposed to be Spanish, but was changed to Portuguese following strong Spanish protests. Thus you will strangely hear Spanish spoken, rather than Portuguese. Brando, due to British interest in the sugar economy, is ordered to ferment revolution on the island, which he manages to do through slave Jose Dolores (Evaristo Marquez), but Dolores proves to be no mans puppet, and the ideals of freedom become his life blood. Brando is later recruited to defeat Dolores, who has become too successful, and outlived his usefulness.

Marlon Brando turned down a role in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", to appear in "Burn", which would no doubt have appealed to his strong social conscience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical Drama 19 Dec 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It is the 1800's and the British have sent an agent to a Caribbean island to encourage the local slave population to overthrow their Portuguese rulers. Lead by a charismatic leader, the slaves gain their freedom but once the dust has settled we find that the British have now become the new masters. As the population takes up arms against the new sugar aristocracy, the agent returns to the island this time to destroy the very man he had previously helped in the cause of liberation!

This is a great film with powerful performances by Marlon Brando as the British Agent and Evaristo Márquez as the Black Revolutionary leader.

Definitely worth watching!
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